05 December 2005 00:01 [Source: ICB]
The European Commission (EC) has unveiled a third package of maritime safety legislation to crack down on unscrupulous ship operators.
The Erika III package contains seven draft proposals. These include directives on port state control, compliance with flag state requirements, traffic monitoring, civil and financial liability, accident investigation and the role of classification societies.
The EC said it aims to improve the ship inspection rate from its current 25% target and focus on higher risk vessels.
Member states will be required to designate places of refuge for EC and neighbouring maritime countries. They must also verify the application of international rules on ships flying their flag.
A harmonised European framework for investigating accidents on a more independent basis is proposed as well as reform on liability and damage repair.
Classification societies must also strengthen their performance and will face financial sanctions if they fall short.
Transport commissioner Jacques Barrot said: ‘Introducing stricter requirements for unscrupulous operators who distort competition, and maintaining high-performing maritime administrations and classification societies, will ensure the high quality of maritime transport.’
Also planned is a satellite monitoring system (SafeSeaNet) that would control shipping along European coastal waters and enable authorities to have accurate data on vessels, cargo and movements.
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